Who Has Helped You The Most With Your Family History?

This week’s question is, who has helped you the most with your family history? That’s a tough one for me because I’ve had help so often over the years.

Before my mom’s Alzheimers got really bad, it would have been my mom. She would look at old black-and-white photos with me and tell me who the people were. Maybe that’s why I love those photos the most. She also told me her family stories, but some were only revealed after I discovered the family secrets.

There is a standing joke with my cousins because they know my mom would say, “ok, it was like this,” when I discovered a family secret and asked for her input. I guess I’ll never know why she didn’t tell me in the first place.

Also, my dad’s brother, my Uncle Ken, was a huge help in telling me stories from my father’s side because he was the boy who listened to the older folk, and he was happy to share. I think my dad was too busy doing outdoor things growing up. But Dad was happy when I’d find “living” cousins.

The more I think about it, it’s hard to decide who has helped me the most. I’ve had help from other genealogists from near and around the world, and I’ve had help from you, my genealogy blog followers.

Who’s on your list of genealogy helpers?

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  • […] Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote Who Has Helped You The Most With Your Family History? on her Hound on the Hunt blog this week.  That is a great prompt for Saturday Night Genealogy […]

  • […] want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):1)  Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote Who Has Helped You The Most With Your Family History? on her Hound on the Hunt blog this week.  That is a great prompt for Saturday Night Genealogy […]

  • Dale McCall says:

    The people who helped me the most were my 2 half-sisters, my maternal aunt, a cousin & my Birth Mother a little. I met them 5 years ago.
    My Aunt & cousin had worked on their Family Tree back to the ? 1500’s. My daughter-in-law worked on my family Tree back to the !400’s-

    My half-Sister sent their Mom’s DNA & it came back as a 97% match to me but they weren’t sure what province I lived in so it took an Obituary of my adopted Mom from 2011 & Facebook.

    I know who my Birth Father is who passed at 37 & my half-sister showed me some photos of his family on Facebook. For now, I have chosen not to pursue his side,

  • Lynda Sampson says:

    For the most part my genealogical research has been a pretty solitary journey. I have a few friends doing family history research and we do share amazing findings but for the most part we do not work together or collaborate. However, I owe my genealogical foundations to my father and my great aunt. The stories that they shared and the conversations we had have come back to me in records that have been exhaustively searched for and luckily found. There are many days though when I know my ancestors are accompanying me on this journey, and though the walk is slow and steady, the journeys will be worthy of the destination. I also realize that every lecture, workshop, webinar, and conference I attend, and every book, article, blog, newsletter and website I read or research has contributed to my genealogical journey as well. It does take a village!

    • I too was raised on family stories. Some that I heard over and over and I love to this day. I agree it does take all the things you mentioned to contribute to our knowledge and our research abilities. Happy hunting.

  • Marcy Belles says:

    Oh my . . . like you said, a lot of people helped me. My early years I worked with my aunt (my Dad’s sister). It was through her that we joined our local genealogical society. We got a lot of help from them. My mom also helped me with her family. I still bounce things off of her and share discoveries with her.

    I remember one time discussing with her family names and my brother walked in. We were talking about how we are descended from “George Washington” and “Christopher Columbus” and my brother goes “Really???” and I was going to say yes, really but Mom spoiled it by saying the surname – Maynard.

    Now, that my aunt has passed away (back in 2012), my son helps me out when I get stuck. He’s 35 so I take advantage of his technological skills. And I still get help from the local genealogical society as well as the various blogs I follow like yours.

  • David Hopper says:

    My great uncle. He did a huge amount of research in the 1950s and 1960s. Many families amongst the early New England families. From himself born in 1896 he had 9 full complete generations of descendants.

    Well written up, except for the sources. But as I use his tree as a guide and look up and add in sources i am amazed at the quality of his work.

  • Laura Lane says:

    The person who helped me the most would be my maternal grandmother. She told me the names of her siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins including their spouses. She was accurate and was born in 1892. All my other grandparents were deceased before I was born. She gave me a great start with my genealogy research. I wish that I could tell her that she had a maternal ancestor who was at the Muster at Jamestown and a paternal ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Her paternal ancestors were father and son.

    • What a great start to your research.. happy hunting.

      • Laura Lane says:

        Thank you, as all my maternal and paternal ancestors were in the colonies before the Revolutionary War I want to cross the pond. My Autosomal DNA test showed that I’m over 80% from the UK including England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The remainder is Scandinavian. My Brick Wall are my maternal 3rd great-grandparents, John and E. Smith, who were born around 1800 in Virginia.